A Note On Irish Language Pronunciations




Irish Language pronunciations are very different from English pronunciations. It would take way too long to teach you the finer points of Irish pronunciation, so I've written out a lot of the Gaelic names phonetically.

Here is a key to my phonetic spellings:

accented syllables are written in all caps= Ciarán (KEE a rawn) is accented on the 1st syllable, while Siobhán (shi VAWN) is accented on the 2nd.

*please note that Irish names are generally accented on the 1st syllable except in the following cases:

1. Irish translations of foreign names (ie Siobhán, Sinéad -- these are from old French)
2. compound names (Mael Iosa, Cu Chulainn)

Where specified, these are generally accented on the 2nd syllable.


a = a in cat
e = e in let
i = i in it
o = o in coat
u = u in hut

ay = a in late
ee = e in meet
oo = u in shoot
aw = aw in raw


kh/ch = ch in German 'ach', or in Scottish 'loch'. It is NOT like the English 'torch.'
sh = as in English 'shoe'
g = as in goat, never as in gin.
c = as in kite, never as in cent.
r = rolled, as in Spanish
y = when followed by a consonant makes a sound as in 'yet'. eg, "KYAN" would be "k-yan", like "can" with an extra "yuh" sound. Think of it as like the end of "Tanya". It DOES NOT rhyme with Ryan.

The rest of the consonants are pretty much like they are in English. There are differences between English and Irish, but I cannot describe them in words. Maybe someday I'll add some sound files!